Faithful Souls

Faithful Souls

He’s not just an ordinary dog, and she’s not just an ordinary girl. The two of them are gifted with spirits of freedom and loyalty. An old sled dog and a young musher; two faithful souls – uniting to form a team bound in unbridled trust.

Getting into the mushing groove

Getting into the mushing groove

It’s been two weeks now since we’ve owned our six sled dogs! Our first couple of experiences on the trail were somewhat embarrassing, but our run on the lake yesterday went very smooth. I was impressed as we all worked seamlessly as a team without even realizing it; the kids harnessed dogs and straitened lines while my husband unloaded and hooked up sleds. I of course, took my job seriously as resident photographer. Documentation is very important 😉 The dogs ran nice and steady on the trail – this time, without trying to pass the other sled too much. We still need to figure out how to turn the teams around without ending up like a big ball of tangled Xmas lights – but I’m guessing we’ll get there… puppy steps right? I’ve also noticed a cool groove happening when we go to the barn to feed the dogs. As I cut meat and prepare bowls of food, my girls play with each dog and automatically clean up their kennel areas. It appears that as our transition as owners takes shape, the dogs are learning to trust – and even love us!

“You’re crayzzeee!” vs. “YOU, are crazy.”

When we decided to buy sled dogs and become suburban mushers, it was amazing how many people made the same comment in a different way. Some said, “you’re crayzzeee!” in a genuinely intrigued kind of way, while many responded with a monotone semi-sacrcastic, “YOU, are crazy.” Thankfully, as our track record reflects, we’ve never cared much about what people think! And guess what, I think it’s been a big benefit to our kids. Because we haven’t been afraid to try new things, the world has been a pretty cool place to experience. We have embraced the seasons of life, known failure, been grateful for the gift of patience, and have felt the reward of hard work. With dogsledding in particular, we’ve understood the beauty of silence and have had our hearts be stilled in the white wonder of God’s creation. So yeah, our new adventure is crazy. We’re glad to own the label! Don’t be afraid! Hike!

Feeling Silence

Feeling Silence

Continuing with our quest to embrace the Minnesota winter, we were drawn to yet another dog sledding adventure. We weren’t quite sure what the alure was, but it kept us coming back for more. After we’d thoroughly had a day of fun zipping over portages, fishing on the ice, and eating lunch over a fire in the wilderness, the day (and our energy) wound down. The late afternoon sun set low in the sky and we methodically began the journey back to where we’d begun. Our girls had become quite skilled at mushing so they led their own team of dogs out. As we cut through a forest passage, I watched ahead as each girl balanced naturally on one ski. One stared ahead while the other gazed back – As if they were listening to something. They were not listening to an iPod, talking on the phone, or even speaking words to one another… they were just feeling the rare sound of silence. And when I calmed my mind, I heard it too. With only the background noise of breathing dogs and the sled moving over the snow, the entire world seemed to mute. I tuned in to the falling snow and looked up in wonder at the magnificent pines. My soul stilled and my heart opened to the creator of it all. The feeling of silence; what a wonderful alure.